“I am feeling stressed, worried, and anxious… I know I need to relax, but I just don’t even know where to start anymore.”
Does this feel like a familiar sentiment? The stress of trying to conceive can be high under normal circumstances, but add on what has been happening in our world the last year and that stress begins to amp up even higher.
When I have people come to see me, one of my greatest take home recommendations for de-stressing and relaxation is actually abdominal self massage. I tend to incorporate abdominal Tui Na (Chinese massage) into my general practice to help with circulation to the reproductive organs, but it is also a great practice to help decrease stress.
If you are looking for a different approach to bringing some calm into your life, check out the routine below!
Mo-Fa Round Rubbing
This practice involves using the technique known as Mo Fa – Round Rubbing. This is a gentle technique that uses the palm of the hand to bring great care to a specific area of the body.
Mo Fa is a technique that can have many benefits to the body. It can be used to regulate digestion, relieve abdominal tension, and support fertility and menstrual health as well as creating an overall sense of relaxation.
The abdominal work can be done over top of clothing or directly on the skin with some oil. It is best to choose a fragrance-free oil. Consider an oil like coconut, jojoba, or sweet almond oil.
These are general guidelines to follow and it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider to determine if these techniques are appropriate for you.
Setting the Space
Set yourself up in such a way that you can lay down comfortably and relax. Consider playing some soft music or use a heating pad under your back to make sure you are cozy.
Do whatever you need to do to feel comfortable. Prop a pillow under your knees and cover your legs with a blanket.
As you rest, close your eyes and take a few moments to observe your breath. Relax into the space and take about ten rounds of deep breaths.
Place your left hand over your heart and your right palm below the belly button, over your womb, on the midline. Begin by slowly circling your right hand clockwise over the womb.
The pressure can be adjusted to your preference, but I usually recommend just the weight of the hand to start.
Circle the palm until you begin to feel warmth under the right hand. As you notice the warmth, start to spiral this circle larger until you begin to encompass the entire abdomen. Gliding under the edges of the ribs, the hip bones, and across the top of the pubic bone.
After about nine rounds, begin to spiral the circle smaller and smaller until your right palm ends up where it started, circling over the womb.
Move through these circles very slowly. Keep your wrist relaxed and find a comfortable rhythm staying aware of your breath.
Let your palm come to rest over the womb and become aware of the sensations underneath your palm. Is there warmth? Do you notice a subtle tingling sensation in the fingers? End the practice with a round of 3-5 deep breaths and again become aware of how you feel in your body at this moment.
This can be practiced for about 5-10 minutes daily.
For a live demo of this abdominal technique, you can tune into the video premiere on the Whole Family Health Facebook page on Wednesday, April 21st!
For more information on how we can support your fertility, book a free 15-minute phone consultation.